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Everyone has a secret – Coffee shops have secrets. Workshop Coffee Co is revealing some of them.

 

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Everyone like a nice cup of coffee whether filter, straight black, cappuccino or flat white.

However, there is a cost behind it. Quality doesn’t come cheap. This is applicable for everything.

Let’s take an example.

Making good/perfect coffee is like taking a good/perfect picture.

There are various ingredients. To get a great result it is not just about the main product but also all accessories around it! The camera can be the best one but the photograph could be poor, because a skill is needed for the composition and having the right settings from exposure to shutter speed.

Also, buying a DSLR is the first step. You might then need a polarized filter, tripod or flashgun as well as a fast memory card (according to the type of photography). According to your level, an expensive camera might not be the right choice unless you have already a few years experience. A basic point and shoot can be sufficient for a start then upgrading is always a possibility.

DSLR Vs Point and Shoot

DSLR Vs Point and Shoot

Making coffee works the same way. Good coffee beans is just the foundation. Having a top of the range espresso machine is good as long as the user knows how to deal with it and is able to adjust the grinder in order to produce a great extraction and respect the ratio coffee:water.

As I was in an independent coffee shop on Tuesday morning (30th December 2014), a customer who was waiting for his filter (brewing method V60) started to talk about the cost of making perfect coffee.

He is an avid drinker and own himself a manual grinder. But, he openly said that all this process – despite the fabulous brew – could generate a high cost related to the step by step instructions as a full list of items are necessary:

V60 ceramic and server

V60 ceramic and server

Purists will get all of it without thinking twice because the taste and aroma will be second-to-none. There is a good reason to have the full equipment… Indeed, a budget is needed to get the same cup of coffee as the one you buy at a speciality coffee shop.

The other advantage is that you can recycle coffee grounds for your own garden or your neighbours’ allotments. It is all about waste management, which is too much ignored especially after the festive season.

Christmas rubbish collection

Christmas rubbish collection

In other words, you get a great brew and others can benefit by using what has been put in the filter to produce that nectar to grow fresh vegetables. A great chain reaction which is a win-win from start to finish.

Finally, if you don’t have the financial means to purchase the entire list of brewing utensils, the direct alternative is to visit your local espresso bar (with preferably a brew bar) and who knows, you might get a bundle if you decide to invest in several bits!

It is obvious that water without coffee and vice versa will result of an empty cup, shop and no business.

Some coffee roasters or in fact most of them, are traveling the world to source that perfect and tasteful green coffee bean which will give a kick to your taste buds once roasted.

The coffee can have a ton of different flavours according to its origin and the way it is handled by the head roaster.

It all depends how long it is kept hot and at which temperature. Too dark could be awful but too light would produce a coffee without character.

But this is not all: the water is as important as the coffee.

The actual water can give an extra (unwanted) after taste. Or you might go to an espresso bar and love the coffee there. You then buy 250g of it and when at home using your own barista tools and gadgets it is completely different because your water is not filtered and has a different composition.

“We’ve found that the water composition is key to the proportions of sugars, starches, bases and acids extracted from a particular roast.” – Source

The University of Bath has teamed up with the UK Barista Champion (Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood from Colonna-Smalls) in order to define which type of water will be ideal to make perfect coffee.

In other words, the water could be like the sauce with the meat/fish/vegetables. It has to enhance the aroma and taste of the main ingredient. The sauce mustn’t be over powering or the food itself would just be like boring texture. The water plays the same role when preparing a coffee.

In the coffee industry everything is important even how much water is used and the length of brewing a pour over. Specific scales are available.

There is a correlation between cooking and making coffee: it is about respecting the proportions and getting quality components.

A barista must be as skilled as a head chef or a sommelier.

There is a complete presentation about this – check the video HERE.

But this kind of “know how” is not just in food or coffee. It is what makes the actual activity successful. Forget the instant coffee jar and attend a cupping session to explore and discover the nuance between a bean coming from Ethiopia, Rwanda or South America. Each profession applies the same attention to details from bespoke bicycle maker to website and graphic designer. It has to be faultless and match the potential customer’s expectation.

Coffee tastes classifications

Coffee tastes classifications

Overall water is important on a global scale. So much so that some architects have also worked hard in order to maintain an ongoing and smooth flow of water when we are opening our taps from kitchen sinks to showers.

Water Tower

Water Tower